A study into the economic and ecological potential of conservation enterprises to enhance the local economy, ecosystem services, and biodiversity in the Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 site (ECOSS)

Project facts

Project promoter
Foundation Conservation Carpathia
Project Number:
Target groups
Civil servants/Public administration staff,
Public and private organizations, including not-for-profit organizations and NGOs, responsible for the organization and delivery of education and training at local, regional and national levels
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 304,879
The project is carried out in:

More information


This project aims to provide solutions for economic development in and around the Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 sites and tries to engage and incentivise stakeholders in order to support and enhance the ecosystem services and biodiversity values. The project contribute to the enhancement of ecosystem services, the preservation of biodiversity, and an increased value of the natural system to society and the economic sector. The outcome is to enhance the ecosystem services and preserve the biodiversity while solving the need of economic development of areas around Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 site. The local and public authorities are engaged through important planning documentation resulted and policy recommendation. FCC has the role of making sure that all the project activities are scheduled to provide the expected results, manages the human resource, achieves the public procurement plan, and organizes all meetings and events scheduled. NINA identifies the natural values and public awareness activities. CCR is contributing with its vast expertise on the reports of socio-economic and biodiversity conservation, establishing the stakeholders who could potentially impact or benefit from those values, the detailed analysis of all stakeholders with significant influence upon the ecosystem services and biodiversity values. MRASS it is responsible for an architect design of a conservation and education center as a promoter of conservation enterprises in the area. The partnership will provide relevant reports over the ecosystem services and stakeholder impact on it, technical documentation for initiating “green” businesses based on the opportunities created through an analysis of those who support the ecosystem services and biodiversity and communication tools for public awareness.

Summary of project results

The general objective of the Programme was to implement solutions regarding ecosystem service degradation, to increase the level of knowledge on their contribution to economy and to contribute in putting in an end to the loss of biodiversity in Romania. The objective included approaching issues related to fragmentation of habitats, restoration of damaged areas, as well as integration of aspects related to biodiversity in sectorial policies. Additionally, the Programme tackled to lack of concern and education of the wide audience in terms of biodiversity. This project has revealed the socio-economic context of the Natura 2000 sites in the Fagaras Mountains, it has identified the main economic activities and how they influence and are influenced by the ecosystem services and biodiversity of the site and how they can be transformed into a new direction that the development of a ‘green’ economy that would help improve ecosystem services and biodiversity. We identified a number of 10 business ideas that could be carried out in the Natura 2000 Fagaras area, but they must meet the terms of being a nature conservation business alongside the regulations and policies in place to stimulate this type of business. Through this project, solutions that contribute to the development of policies and strategies that can be applied in other geographic areas and that would support the development of a ‘green’ economy have been indicated. Thus, the project contributes to the objective of the RO02 Programme, tackling issues related to the degradation of ecosystem services, habitat fragmentation and biodiversity conservation by developing the methodology for implementing this concept of economic development based on nature conservation together with a favorable legal framework. The policy recommendations designed by this project are created to support decision-making by central authorities as an alternative to the harmonious interaction between the need for communities to develop and protected natural areas, which at present are shown up to conflict level. In parallel with this project, the project promoter initiated an interaction with the general public and local decision-makers through awareness-raising actions on the concept of ecosystem services and how ‘green’ businesses bring the same material benefits as a conventional business but are more durable by their protective nature, bringing long-term benefits to a larger number of people.

Summary of bilateral results

The project was carried out by the contribution of 3 individuals: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Conservation Capital RO (CCRO) and Mrass & Partner (MRASS). However, only NINA partner belongs to a donor country. NINA partner was in charge of achieving the rate/result of Activity 1 - Establish the stakeholders who could potentially impact upon/benefit from those values, by means of assessing the socio-economic context of the Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 sites, support in defining information to be collected within activity 2 - Establish the stakeholders who could potentially impact upon/benefit from those values, by means of assessing the socio-economic context of the Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 sites and providing ideas for the informative materials within Activity 8. NINA partner achieved 100% the indicator of activity 1, however with a great delay, which also led to the delay of other activities using information from the A1 result. Project promoter mention that there was communication with the partner's leading expert, but the agreed deadlines have been exceeded on several occasions, and the justification of the expenditure by submitting the audit reports was forwarded unjustifiably, requiring revisions due to inconsistent statements in this report.